Q&A: What To Do When You Feel Like A Social Outcast
Written by Aysha Ives | November 11, 2011
I consider myself socially awkward. I don’t have any close friends and I feel like an outcast. This is the story of my life and I don’t know what to do.
My heart goes out to you because it seems like you’re really feeling some pain right now. It can’t be easy feeling this way! As I read your letter, I’m noticing two things. First, it seems like you may struggle a little with self-esteem. Second, it sounds like you don’t feel like you fit in with other people. So, let’s take a few moments to explore both of these issues.
It’s VERY IMPORTANT that you make a conscious decision to build your self-esteem. Remember, when you love yourself and place a high value on who you are, you’ll begin to act in a way that will draw positive people and experiences into your life. Here are some tips to help you improve your self-esteem:
• Prayer should ALWAYS be at the top of the list. Ask God to show you how to better love, like, and respect yourself.
• Remind yourself DAILY that you’re a part of the royal priesthood. This alone makes you very special! Recite scripture throughout the day to remind you of your value! A good one to use is this:“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14).
• Spend time enhancing your skills and doing things that you’re good at. God has given you gifts and talents for a reason! Not only will you please God by using your gifts, but you’ll be improving your confidence at the same time!
• Make changes in areas that you’d like to improve. We’re ALL works in progress because NO ONE has it totally together yet. Decide what you’d like to enhance about yourself and develop a plan of action to do it. However, don’t forget to love yourself as you are. You’ll get to where you want to be, but appreciate yourself along the journey.
• Don’t allow other people’s negativity to affect you. God makes everyone differently and sets each of us apart for our own special purpose.
Friendships are very important to most people, which makes sense because God created us to enjoy interacting with others. It’s healthy to want to have friendships, so here are a few tips that might help in this area:
• Again, prayer should be essential in your life. Ask God to reveal ways to develop healthy friendships. Also, ask The Holy Spirit to increase your boldness so that you can overcome any shyness.
• Participate in group activities that you enjoy. The more that you’re around like-minded people, the more that you’ll naturally begin to build friendships.
• Make it a specific goal to interact with more people. If you’re on the shy side, you could start by just saying “hello” to people who seem interesting. Then gradually begin to introduce yourself to new people who share similar interests. The more that you practice this behavior, the more quickly you’ll develop the skill of meeting new people. Eventually, this task will become second nature to you and soon you’ll be making new friends.
• Don’t take on other people’s problems! If someone doesn’t want to be your friend, for whatever reason, remind yourself that it’s THEIR loss, NOT yours. Remember, even Jesus Himself and His disciples were rejected by some people. Many times people are struggling with their own issues and end up projecting those issues onto you and others. Don’t allow THEIR problems to affect who YOU are as a person. No matter what–remember your value!
Are there any other suggestions?